More than 60% of UK population don't have a will

24 October 2011

The number of people in the UK without a will has hit 29.5 million, according to research by

More than 10% of people without a will believe their estate will go to the right people automatically once they die, and 22% will leave savings of around £10,000.

Unsurprisingly, the highest percentage of people without a will are in younger age groups, with 84% of those aged 18-34 without one. Meanwhile, 35% of those aged over 55 are also going without.

Are you without a will? Read our guide on how to leave your loved ones an inheritance.

The main reason people do not make wills is apathy and a quarter of people without one say they plan to have one written when they get older, while 11% say it's never occurred to them to write one. Many people are also worried about the costs involved, but they can be relatively inexpensive at around £120 for a single person and £200 for a couple.

When a person dies without a valid will, the estate must be shared out according to these rules and only certain people (married or civil partners and close relatives) will be able to inherit.

Under current intestacy rules, a spouse or civil partner may only inherit £250,000 if there is no will in place, and there are no children or grandchildren, but despite this 48% of married adults don't have a will.

Karen Barrett, chief executive of says: "Thinking about the possibility of something bad happening to you is never an easy topic but, nonetheless, it is hugely important. Our research clearly shows that the nation is gripped by 'wills apathy', whether that is putting it off until they are older or incorrectly believing their estate will automatically go to the right people.

"Many people are simply unaware of the control that having a will gives you and its importance in ensuring your loved ones receive what you intend for them."

The research by was conducted for its annual 'Write a Will Week' and 2,017 adults were questioned.


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